College of Fine Arts
Dean: James Frazier, EdD, MFA
The College of Fine Arts was formed in 2005, with the combination of the former School of Visual Arts and Dance and the School of Theatre. The College has six academic units:
- Department of Art
- Department of Art Education
- Department of Art History
- Department of Interior Architecture and Design
- School of Dance
- School of Theatre
These academic units offer an extensive program of instruction in all areas of the visual arts, theatre, and dance. In fact, every level of undergraduate and graduate degree that a university can offer in these areas is represented within the College, including the established terminal degree in each discipline. Accordingly, the College is unique in the state of Florida.
Enhancement of the fine and performing arts is one of Florida State University's specific goals as presented in its mission statement. The comprehensive nature and consistent quality of the College may be credited in large part to the recognition and support of the arts evident in the University. The very idea of arts training within a university context is held to be fundamentally important to an individual's education in today's society. The College of Fine Arts shares much in common with an independent arts school, but the differences are more important than the similarities. The University strives toward education of the whole person, and it has a great variety of cultural and curricular resources to reach this end. Therefore, our students have the opportunity to benefit from the entire University, a warm and friendly residential college and major graduate research institution. There is no substitute for this environment.
The College promotes the visual arts, design, theatre, and dance within this community. Its goal is to provide a broad-based liberal arts education for students, while at the same time training them to be dancers, actors, designers, artists, scholars, teachers, or other professionals in the field. It functions to enrich their lives and to provide them with the means of self-expression in an increasingly complex and impersonal technological society—a society ever more dependent upon visual language and information. The study and practice of the arts are therefore viewed as a necessary link in the educational system, both as a learning process and as a means of personal fulfillment. Measures are applied within the College—and indeed throughout Florida State University's campus—to keep the spirit of open inquiry vital and productive.
Regardless of the department of a student's major, the College of Fine Arts provides an unusual opportunity for working with a distinguished faculty of nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars, all of whom teach undergraduate as well as graduate students.
Requirements of the College
By and large the College has few requirements that go beyond those stipulated by the University. As appropriate, these requirements are provided in the narratives describing the individual departments and programs. No minor is required by the College. Five programs grant degrees categorized as "limited access" in the sense that they are proficiency based: (1) the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in art (studio) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in art (studio); (2) the BFA and MFA in dance; (3) the BFA in acting and in music theatre and the MFA in acting, costume design, directing, technical production, and theatre management; and, (4) the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Interior Design in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design. Entrance is gained through portfolio review or audition.
The Program in Interdisciplinary Computing
The College of Fine Arts supports the Program in Interdisciplinary Computing (PIC) with representation on the PIC Steering Committee. PIC is a non-degree granting program established to develop, support, and promote computing and information technology courses that empower FSU students to innovate and lead in their respective fields. Courses listed with PIC cover a wide range of computer skills with each course focusing on the application of those skills to the student's discipline. See https://innovation.fsu.edu/ for more information about PIC and a list of current PIC courses.
Students in art education, art history, and interior architecture and design work in specifically designed and dedicated spaces in the newly renovated William Johnston Building located in the center of campus. Interior Architecture and Design students in their junior, senior, and graduate years have dedicated studio space to enrich their interaction and the creative process. In addition to the lecture rooms, general classrooms, seminar rooms, and media-specific laboratories (e.g., printmaking, electronic imaging, ceramics, sculpture, photography, digital fabrication, and the like), four specialized facilities merit particular mention. First, art students in designated degree programs are provided individual studios, making it possible for them to work in a healthy environment that promotes the cross-fertilization of ideas and constructive debate. Students at different stages of development learn from each other as well as from their professors, who regularly come to their studios for tutorials and critiques. These studios are housed in the Carnaghi Arts Building. Second, dance students train in what are arguably the best university dance facilities in the nation, including seven spacious, comfortable studios and their own fully-equipped professional dance theatre, experimental black box theatre, and grand studio; in addition, students explore dance technology in state-of-the-art labs. Third, theatre students train and perform in four specialized venues, including two traditional proscenium theatres, a lab theatre, and a stage for student-produced works.
Honors in the Major
The College of Fine Arts offers honors in the major in several departmental and interdepartmental programs. For requirements and other information, see the "University Honors Office and Honor Societies" chapter of this General Bulletin.
The University offers many opportunities for international study open to all qualified state university students. Study-abroad programs range in nature from long-established study centers in Florence, Italy, and London, England, to recently developed programs in Spain and France. Operated by Florida State University, they provide the opportunity for a truly rewarding educational and cultural experience. Representing as it does a collegial body of students of art, the College of Fine Arts has a particular affinity for the Florence program, one that has led to a history of involvement since the founding of the program in 1966, largely through the efforts of the art history faculty. Many members of the College faculty and graduate students have taught in Florence, and the College has significant representation among the students studying there. Of particular significance to students of theatre is the London program, with its year-round theatre offerings. Students of theatre, art, dance, design, and art history flourish in the rich, humanistic environments of these magnificent cities and cultural centers. This they can do usually without disrupting their sequence of courses and without loss of residency, since the Florence and London campuses are true extensions of the Tallahassee campus.
Museum Theory and Practice
The College of Fine Arts is the academic home of Florida State University's museum theory and practice specialized study program. Open to graduate students of all departments, the program offers theoretical, practical, and methodological training in museum management, curatorship, fundraising, collections management, education and interpretation, marketing, exhibition development, and other museum topics. The curriculum includes courses taught by full-time faculty and practicing museum professionals, internships, and special museum projects. Emphasis is placed on career guidance and finding a position in the museum profession. Students have opportunities for firsthand experience at the College's Museum of Fine Arts, and in other regional and national museums. Florida State University's International Programs offer museum internships at international institutions in cities such as London and Florence.
At the undergraduate level, students studying art history may obtain a concentration in museum studies.
The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts
The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) reflects the combined teaching and research missions of the College by serving the University and wider community as a center of civic and intellectual life. Through public exhibitions, events, and educational programs, MoFA offers students and visitors opportunities to expand their understanding of historical and contemporary art and the many ways in which visual and material culture reflect our common experiences. By introducing diverse audiences to the integral roles that art and culture play in shaping societies, MoFA fosters creativity, collaboration, and critical engagement. MoFA produces more than ten original exhibitions each year while also serving as the venue for the BFA and MFA thesis exhibitions for the Department of Art. MoFA maintains an active program of collecting and curating in contemporary art, printmaking, photography, and new media, with a Permanent Collection of over 6,000 items. MoFA is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography
The mission of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) is to raise the value of the creative process in dance by providing (1) a model of support for professional choreographic creativity within a comprehensive, graduate research university, (2) access to a stimulating environment where experimentation, exploration, and life-long learning are both valued and encouraged, and (3) opportunities for engagement with the creative process in dance to the national field as well as our students, staff, faculty, and community.
Facility for Arts Research
The Facility for Arts Research (FAR) offers space and specialized equipment for experimental printmaking, spatial audio, electronics, and digital fabrication to researchers, faculty, and students as part of a rigorous interdisciplinary investigation into art making. FAR engages and educates 21st century makers in the collaborative, cross-disciplinary experiences of contemporary arts research, supporting and promoting the integration of digital and traditional art and design methods to create unique objects that might be impossible to make in other ways.
The College of Fine Arts is fully accredited according to discipline as appropriate by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National College Association for Teacher Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.